Today while my mom was working I took a tour all on my own (cause I’m a big girl now). The first stop was Nazareth. We trekked up to the Church of Annunciation. It is built over the grotto where Jesus and his family lived. Just seeing the entrance to this place was amazing. It also contains the place where the angel Gabrielle visited and told Mary she would bear a son. A mass was going on while we were visiting and listening to their prayers in Hebrew gave it a peaceful feeling.
We went for a swim in the Galilee, its was blue and beautiful and everything I imaged it be. Except for the fact it was freezing cold! You would think in a near desert, it would be a little warmer.
Then there was a stop at beautiful Cana, where Jesus turned the water into wine (I bought some of that wine, well from the winery, not the actually water he turned, lol). We went to the Church of Tabgha, a church where the loaves and fishes miracle took place. It had 2,000 year old mosaic floors. Beautiful. We went to the ruins of the synagogue where Jesus preached in Capernaum. Most of the rocks were black because of an volcanic eruption. The ruins were preserved well enough that you could see how the entire church was arranged. In the synagogue there were even remnants of board games the children used to play on the temple floor. Very near by the synagogue was the house of where St. Peter lived; it was also in ruins, but so interesting to see. We always toured a Francesco monastery. In addition, the Mary Magdalene home in Tiberius.
We stopped to have lunch at a very lovely place in Tiberius. And a Dutch man ordered fish and it really looked like fish. It was no fish filet from McDonald’s!
After lunch, we went down to the Jordan River at Yardnit (where Jesus was baptized and got to step in the water. People were being baptized. I wanted to get re-baptized so badly but didn't have enough time. But that would have been amazing.
We spent most of the trip home straddling the Jordan border. Its is covered with barbed wire fencing and electric currents. Often times there would be an Israel flag and a Jordan flag facing each other. There is chalk on the side walk on both sides of the border, and police check it frequently to make sure no omegas crossed over. We even saw the border with Syria!
Once again people in our group came from all over-we had Amsterdam, Swiss, Belgium, Brazil, Portuguese, English, French, and German. And on the way home the tour guide taught us an Israel song about peace. And we sang it in Hebrew, some how this turned into karaoke. And everyone was getting up taking the Microphone and singing songs from their country. We were all laughing and cheering each other on, someone sang Yankee Doodle for the USA. And then it went on past country songs, and people were singing drinking songs. Then someone sang The Girl for Iomega goes walking. And one lady had a birthday so it was sung to her in every language! We all hugged everyone when one would leave the tour. It was just such a very special day, as everyday in Israel has been.
More photos on flickr.